In a recent interview with Finbold, affiliate marketing company Circlewise CEO Mathias Hell talked about strategies adopted by businesses to cope with the coronavirus pandemic that emerged as an opportunity for the firm to onboard 33% more publishers.
Mathias also talked about attributes that will propel affiliate marketing companies in the future, with the sector witnessing a surge of new players. At the same time, he projected what new platforms like TikTok would bring to social media marketing in months to come.
The chief executive also delved into the prospects of traditional advertising in the wake of a digital revolution.
What are the main factors you consider before onboarding advertisers and publishers on the Circlewise platform?
“We always make sure that we really can help the partner grow and earn, thus satisfying their needs. For advertisers, we always make sure beforehand that we can provide the best possible traffic sources for them, while for a publisher we make sure that they will have offers that are relevant to the traffic and audience”.
What are the three key reasons why one should try affiliate marketing?
“a) Affiliate Marketing is an almost risk-free channel to increase your sales, grow your business, and increase your brand awareness. The advertiser is paying for real performance and real, measurable results.
b) Affiliate Marketing is the fairest type of marketing as publishers are paid for results generated, and when there is a good fit between the commission, publisher, and market, each party in the equation wins.
c) Co-managed Affiliate Marketing, in particular, brings a lot of automation and helps save time and resources for the advertiser, and also lets them control their own marketing channels at a whole new level”.
Did you register more publishers and advertisers in 2020 compared to 2019? How big was the growth/slump?
“For publishers: 2000 (2020) vs. 1500 (2019) [+33%].
For advertisers: 100 (2020) vs. 100 (2019) [no change].
I would underline here that we have kept the new advertisers coming at the same rate and that we managed to increase publisher acquisition by 33% compared to 2019 despite COVID-19 and the P2P industry crisis. This is a clear indication that partners appreciate the work we do for them”.
How much commission have publishers earned through you your platform to date?
“In the last few years, publishers have earned more than 15 million EUR through Circlewise (until the end of January 2021)”.
Can you talk about industries that dominate your portfolio of advertisers? Why do these industries lead?
“We are focused on eCommerce, Finance and Travel because:
- We have a tailored technology and features for these types of products and publishers;
- We have vast experience and know-how in these verticals;
- Our best performing publishers are in these industries;
- Our account management experience within these verticals is excellent;
- We do, however, also work with many other industries including Services, Mobile Apps, and more”.
How does Circlewise enhance transparency and implement fraud protection in the affiliate software?
“Biggest advantage of CW is transparency. The advertisers are always in control of the offers and can see each traffic source separately and measure the quality. The advertiser is also always able to communicate directly with the publishers. CW’s task is to help encourage all of this, and we firmly believe that transparency is a must. Our platform is continuously evolving, and we are constantly improving the software and also its security.
Automatic features which helps to avoid fraud or unwanted traffic:
- Transparency of the whole platform. You will see exactly where the traffic is coming from;
- GEO and device targeting;
- Automatic deduplication;
- Ability to decline transactions and highly granular reporting;
- All publishers go through our publisher management’s vetting process before we allow them on the platform”.
The industry is recording an increase in the number of businesses offering similar services to yours. What do you think will make businesses stand out in this fast-rising sector?
“We offer a unique model of an open marketplace with full transparency and control of the traffic. With our experience and technology we can both provide new traffic and consolidate the existing one while optimising both.
As proof of this our tracking monetisation technology has won Affbank best tracker award 2020. Our platform is growing with our partners and is changing accordingly to their needs. The Circlewise team is made out of great people from all around the world and the service we provide to our clients is exceptional.
We are focused on prompt client support so that onboarding and problem solving is fast and simple. More often than not, new companies experience difficulties setting up commission models, tracking periods, implementing tracking solutions and so on. We try to be responsive and fast as we can to make our client experience as smooth as possible.
Businesses who will stand out in this sector are the ones who are transparent, listen to their partners, and keep moving forward together with both advertisers and publishers in mind”.
Is the focus on digital advertising completely phasing out traditional advertising? What new digital advertising trends can we expect in 2021 and beyond?
“That’s a fair question. One thing with traditional media is that it will probably never be as easy to track as digital media. I do not think, however, that it will die out in the near future, but rather it will change. In the future, I see traditional media closing in, where possible, with the digital side and that the whole marketing ecosystem will be more tightly knit together and more data-driven than it is today.
Due to COVID, many businesses like retail stores are going online, and I expect that trend to continue. The pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt to a situation where digitalization is key both for the workforce and the business concept as well.
I think we will see an increase in social media marketing because of the clear rise of platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Clubhouse, etc., and knowing that younger generations are using technology and social media platforms more than we did.
I think we can expect new widely used social media platforms in the near future, and I also firmly believe that connecting these new platforms (say Twitch, for example!) to digital marketing in general and affiliate marketing, in particular, will be a key trend to look out for in the near future. I would also keep my eyes open to see in what direction influencer marketing will move”.
What would be your advice to our readers who want to earn passive income from affiliate marketing, but don’t know where to start?
“Many aspects are important here (technology, work rate, etc.) but most important is to keep your audience interested and happy. Start by mapping your own media and audience, think of one vertical where you see you could make a difference, and focus on that one vertical until you have enough experience to diversify.
Another good piece of advice is to network with similar-minded people, join the many free events, and simply connect with one of the experts in the field. Our brilliant publisher manager Karlis will surely help you get started if you shoot him a message”.
The end of the interview.
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